Censorship and Shortsightedness

According to well-documented research and studies and this article, students who are enrolled in “unregulated student journalism” perform higher in most areas of school including:

  • standardized testing,
  • average high school GPAs, and
  • freshman college GPAs.

However, one school district has decided to buck the research and open themselves to liability by creating a new policy of prior review, which means the principal previews and oks newspaper stories before publishing. This not only is censorship but opens up the administrator to liabilities and litigation. This shortsighted policy is not only myopic and damaging to high quality journalism programs, but actually increases the district’s culpability when it comes to the content of its publications.

If you are a free speech advocate or a supporter of the student press, please do not allow this to happen to your district.

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2 thoughts on “Censorship and Shortsightedness

  1. Jim Van Pelt

    Fortunately, Colorado is one of the handful of states who reversed the Supreme Court’s ruling that limited student free speech in newspapers. The law says that if a student publication is an “open forum,” the administrators can not exercise prior review.

    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t chilling limitations of free speech, or that some administrators don’t try to control the students’ speech despite the law. Still, it’s nice to know that the law is on our side.

    I sponsored our school paper for 13 years, so I dealt with these issues constantly.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Freedom of the Student Press « The Doc Is In

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